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Development of PCR Assays Targeting Genes in O-Antigen Gene Clusters for Detection and Identification of Escherichia coli O45 and O55 Serogroups

American Society for Microbiology
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  • Methods
  • Design


The Escherichia coli O45 O-antigen gene cluster of strain O45:H2 96-3285 was sequenced, and conventional (singleplex), multiplex, and real-time PCR assays were designed to amplify regions in the wzx (O-antigen flippase) and wzy (O-antigen polymerase) genes. In addition, PCR assays targeting the E. coli O55 wzx and wzy genes were designed based on previously published sequences. PCR assays targeting E. coli O45 showed 100% specificity for this serogroup, whereas by PCR assays specific for E. coli O55, 97/102 strains serotyped as E. coli O55 were positive for wzx and 98/102 for wzy. Multiplex PCR assays targeting the E. coli O45 and the E. coli O55 wzx and wzy genes were used to detect the organisms in fecal samples spiked at levels of 106 and 108 CFU/0.2 g feces. Thus, the PCR assays can be used to detect and identify E. coli serogroups O45 and O55.

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